“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”Virginia Woolf
Bruce sets the table almost every night – he works from home, and at some point during his day he takes a moment and sets the table. I come home each night to this beautiful greeting. I know, I am a lucky girl. Setting a nice table is such a simple thing, but when it’s done well it feels luxurious. The thing is, setting a nice table isn’t hard; it doesn’t require years of study at The Sorbonne or personal instruction from the likes of Emily Post. It’s easy and takes just a few moments of your time. You can make your world a bit more beautiful every day… just consider the following:
Start with Quality Flatware
Good flatware is is the start to any great looking table setting. Although it is relatively expensive to buy good, quality flatware, it is definitely worth the price, because most often one good set of everyday flatware will last you a lifetime (kids running pieces through the garbage disposal notwithstanding). Quality stainless or silverplate will hold up over time and will take a lot of abuse. If you chose silver-plate, rather than stainless, prepare to polish it occasionally, but regular use will make this less of an issue than the sets of silverplate and sterling that you hide in a drawer and only bring out for state occasions. Know that silverplate or sterling, however, should NEVER be washed in the dishwasher, as it will take on a milky cast that is really hard to shed. When purchasing quality flatware look for a nice heft that won’t bend under the pressure of daily use.
Add Solid Color Dinnerware
For years and years I had the same dinnerware as my Mom. I grew up on Johnson Brothers, Blue Willow (Mom still has it), so when I looked to acquire dinnerware I gravitated right to the familiar. It is blue and white and a bit busy, but it is a fine choice. For years it served me well. Then I started to become more interested in cooking and all the wonderful chefs I was learning from talked about “plating” and making the food look better by the dishes they are served on. I decided to take a shot and turn away from the Willow and go all white for my daily dishes. You know what? They are right. Food looks way more attractive on solid color dishes; there’s no distraction for the gorgeous food to compete with. Solid dishes can be beautiful and of high quality, but because they are solid, they make the food the star of the show.
The Chose Clear Glassware
Just like food is the star of the show on solid dinnerware, clear glassware allows the beverage to shine. Colored glassware can be fun for special occasions, but quality, everyday glassware is most versatile in clear glass.
Add Attractive Placemats
Another great thing about using solid color dinnerware is that you can go way bolder with table linens. Navy blue plates can work with floral placemats, striped table cloths or paisley chargers. The possibilities are endless. A placemat for everyday table setting anchors each place and gives it extra color and interest and it is oh-so-simple to pull off. Most placemats are easily washable (I stay away from any that aren’t or low-quality ones that shrink terribly after the first wash). Cloth placemats can also be flipped and used several times per side before serious washing is needed. Table runners can also serve as placemats for two when draped across the table.
And Finally Use Some Beautiful Cloth Napkins
A lot of trees give up their lives to make paper towels and paper napkins. As a matter of fact, did you know that: If every household in the United States replaced just one package of virgin fiber napkins (250 count) with 100 percent recycled ones, we could save 1 million trees – so what if we replaced them with cloth?. Cloth napkins not only reduce environmental impact, but help you to set a more beautiful table, every single day. Cloth napkins are available in so many fabrics and patterns and can really up your table scape game by adding them. Everyday cloth napkins can be used until soiled (which for kids will be almost daily, but for adults may be several days or a week). Leave unsoiled cloth napkins at the place when clearing the table (because we know everyone always sits in the same place anyway). Have fun with napkin rings or napkin origami to make setting a beautiful table even more fun.
A Final Thought…
Life is short… why not take a minute and make it a little more beautiful every day? Set a nice table… it’s an easy way to make life a bit more special. As always… be safe out there, my friends… and have fun!
A Now For a Little Music Before We Go…
“Luxury lives in the finer details. It’s a cloth napkin at a dinner table. It’s a mint on your pillow before bed.”Iggy Azalea